•  ()
  •  ()
  • Print this Story
  • Email this Story

Cleaning Up What's Falling Down

For Northwestern groundskeepers, the old joke rings true every fall: Business is always picking up.

text size AAA
October 31, 2008 | by Matt Paolelli

On the heavily wooded Evanston campus, leaves are tumbling quickly and Facilities Management has unleashed its arsenal of gardeners and groundskeepers to clean up campus for the coming winter months.

Leaf blowers, tractors, rakes and a full-size garbage truck are dispatched around campus to gather and remove the mountains of foliage that cover the ground with each gust of wind.

"The south end of campus is particularly challenging because the majority of the woods that are left on campus are down there," said Tim Spahn, Ground Services supervisor and a 20-year veteran of the campus cleanup routine. "All the educational buildings are down there, too, so it's kind of a challenge to not make too much racket during class time."

So just how many leaves get picked up and hauled away by the garbage truck?

"We empty the truck every other day this time of year," Spahn said. "It's more along the lines of tonnage. It's a lot."